The Monetary Authority of Singapore in tandem with the Singapore FinTech Association and AMTD Foundation have set up a S$6 million FinTech Solidarity Grant to support firms grappling with the challenging business climate caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Grant complements a S$125 million support package announced by the central bank last month to sustain and strengthen capabilities in the financial services and fintech sectors.
AMTD has provided an initial S$2 million to support the programme, while MAS will provide an additional S$4 million from the Financial Sector Development Fund, designed to promote Singapore as a financial centre.
The cash injection comprises a S$1.5 million Business Sustenance Grant for up to S$20,000 to cover day-to-day working capital expenditures, such as salaries and rental costs.
The remaining S$4.5 million is directed towards firms running their first proof-of-concept with financial institutions on API Exchange (Apix), an online global marketplace and sandbox for collaboration and sales. Eligible firms will receive up to $40,000 for their first PoC and S$10,000 for each subsequent POC, subject to a total cap of $80,000 per firm for the entire duration of the grant.
In addition, the S$4.5 million fund will cover the salaries of undergraduate interns, capped at S$1,000/month per intern. This grant will support around 120 interns in the fintech sector, says MAS, assuming an average internship duration of three to five months.
Sopnendu Mohanty, chief fintech officer of MAS, says: “There is a surge in demand in the financial services industry around the region for solutions to address the need for remote digital services amidst the Covid-19 pandemic. Fintech firms have a great opportunity to step up actively during this period to provide these solutions. The Business Growth Grant will help fintech firms offset their costs. By conducting their POCs on Apix, financial institutions and fintech firms will not need to set up test infrastructure for integration. This will help accelerate project development while still working remotely.”
Applications for the Grant will open on 18 May 2020 and will be available until 31 December 2021.